RICHARDSON, Texas (Sept. 1, 2004) – Dr. Xinchou Lou, a member of the internationally acclaimed BABAR experiment team, has been appointed head of the Physics Department at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD).
Lou, who joined UTD in January 1994, replaces Dr. Roderick A. Heelis, who is stepping down as department head after two years to devote more time to UTD’s William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences, of which he is director. The center has a growing number of major research contracts, including some with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U. S. Air Force.
Dr. John Ferraris, interim dean of UTD’s School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NS&M), where the Physics Department is housed, predicted that Lou, who specializes in high-energy physics, would make “a superb department head,” and he praised Heelis, who has been at UTD since 1973, for his “many outstanding contributions to the department, the school and to UTD.”
Both Heelis and Lou are “that rare combination of great teacher, researcher, leader and administrator,” Ferraris said.
Lou, who earned his Ph.D. in physics from the State University of New York, Albany, in 1989, is a co-principal investigator for UTD in the BABAR experiment, of which UTD was a founding member. BABAR is a particle physics experiment that involves a collaboration of physicists from 10 countries and is funded by the U. S. Department of Energy at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). It is designed to study how the laws of physics differ for ordinary matter and anti-matter. For its part in the experiment, UTD is participating in data acquisition, analyses and “ Monte Carlo” simulations using the 128-processor Linux cluster at UTD and the excellent network connectivity via Internet II to SLAC.
Two Nobel Prize winners are affiliated with the Physics Department at UTD.
Dr. Alan G. MacDiarmid, co-winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize in chemistry, is a professor of physics at UTD, as well as a professor of chemistry, holder of the James Von Ehr Distinguished Chair in Science and Technology and director of the university’s Center for Scientific and Technical Innovations. And Dr. Russell A. Hulse, co-recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize in physics, is a visiting professor of physics and of science and math education. Hulse is a principal research physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.
UTD’s first Nobel laureate was the late Dr. Polykarp Kusch, who shared the Nobel Prize in physics in 1955 and who served as a professor of physics at the university from 1972 to 1992.
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 14,000 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.